Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby mikedifr0923 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:53 pm

Hey everyone, new to the forums and new VPI owner.

I have a scout jr, been giving listening a shot without a mat for a couple days. Love the sound, but the static makes me nervous.

Haven’t decided what I want to do as afar as a mat yet, been trying to read opinions on here about which people prefer.....but my one question is to those who listen with just the platter, what are you doing to address the static?

Any help is appreciated!
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby Orchids1 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:31 am

I think static has a lot to do with your weather conditions and the humidity, or lack of it, in your house. I live in a suburb outside of New York City, which is not particularly dry or humid, generally speaking. I have never found it necessary to use a platter mat. I deal with static by washing my records, even new ones, when I get them. Before I play a record side, I use the Milty gun, clean the record with an anti-static brush, and then use the gun again, because I’ve found that an anti-static brush can introduce static. Rich
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby DeeCee » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:36 am

Since I got a Zerostat gun, I was thinking of switching back to using bare platter since I liked the sound better and the gun seemed to work pretty well.

I am currently using a deerskin mat which does help.
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby Packgrog » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:38 pm

I would strongly recommend using a mat with the Jr/Player/Cliffwood platter. It's damped, but not very well, particularly compared to the beastly Prime/Avenger/Classic platter. My Jr. platter rang like a bell when I tapped it, until I got a Funk Firm Achromat and bonded it to the platter with a thin layer of Vaseline. Clamping helps dull the ringing as well, though you can't use the VPI reflex clamp on the smaller platter (such a shame, too). I use a Michell clamp since I don't like what weights do to the sound.

As far as static goes, I do get some, but I blast the record with a Zerostat before playing a side after brushing it with the newer Audioquest brush. Seems to work well. Blast it again with the Zerostat before putting it back in the sleeve as well.
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby mikedifr0923 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:55 pm

Thanks everyone, appreciate it. I do wash the records, even the new ones, at least when I first get them. I might grab a zerostat and give that a try. I have seen a lot of praise regarding the funk firm and deerskin mats. May give one or both a try and see what I like better as far as sound goes. I am just not looking forward to adjusting the VTA if I add a mat.......just being lazy....I will figure it out
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby Brf » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:39 am

mikedifr0923 wrote:Thanks everyone, appreciate it. I do wash the records, even the new ones, at least when I first get them. I might grab a zerostat and give that a try. I have seen a lot of praise regarding the funk firm and deerskin mats. May give one or both a try and see what I like better as far as sound goes. I am just not looking forward to adjusting the VTA if I add a mat.......just being lazy....I will figure it out


If you know the thickness of the mat, you can easily calculate the number of turns on the vta tower required to achieve the same stylus rake angle prior to introducing the mat. If you are not comfortable with the calc, just post the the mat's thickness and I will calc the adjustment for you.
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby Orchids1 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:47 am

Unless you’re fairly obcessive about it, many (perhaps most) mats don’t require a VTA adjustment. The manufacturer or dealer will frequently state whether an adjustment is recommended. Rich
Avenger (w/mods), SS Paua, Phoenix Eagle psu + tach, Sutherland 20/20 phono, Audionet Pre1G3, Benchmark AHB2 monos, YG Carmel 2 spkrs, JL e112 subs, Nordost/Audio Sensibilty ic, Kubla-Sonsa spkr cable; Auralic Aries renderer, Auralic Vega dac; Amazon Echo
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby Packgrog » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:07 am

A 2mm mat will not require VTA adjustment. 3mm maybe. 5mm (like the recommended Achromat) definitely.

With the Player arm on the Scout Jr, it's fairly easy to adjust VTA, but it's a little tedious. There's a video out there about Scout Jr setup that shows the basics of it. Be aware that you might have to adjust the arm lock and/or arm lifter height as well. All adjustments in those cases require allen wrenches. If you don't have a whole set of allen wrenches, just get one. It's useful to have.

The trick that I use is to use a small bubble level on top of the headshell (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1GB6GE/ for example). The circles on the bubble levels that I have are poorly centered so I drew an X through it when I had it on a properly leveled surface. Then, I placed the small bubble level on top of the headshell, SLOWLY lowered the tonearm onto a record, being careful to IMMEDIATELY lift it back up again the moment I heard the needle touch down (too much weight/pressure could mess with the cantilever suspension). This should tell you if you need to adjust in one direction or another. Obviously don't leave the bubble level on there when you try to play a record, and don't adjust VTF with it on there either.

I tried both VTA adjustment by ear and with an index card as reference, and neither were reliable at all. I'm not sure if Brf's offer of calculated number of turns will be easier either, since this isn't the same as the unipivot arms. *shrug*

Also, if you're feeling daring, I have an Expressimo Half Moon Counterweight for VPI arms thatI need to sell, which I used briefly with the Scout Jr arm before switching to a different arm. It does improve the sound somewhat (likely more to do with the lower center of mass than the brass). Let me know if you might be interested.
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby mikedifr0923 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:31 am

Thanks again. I am shopping for one this weekend and hope to get something by next week. I keep seeing rave reviews of the funk firm achromat, including here, so I may try that.
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Re: Scout Jr. Static issue without mat

Postby mikedifr0923 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:43 pm

Brf wrote:
mikedifr0923 wrote:Thanks everyone, appreciate it. I do wash the records, even the new ones, at least when I first get them. I might grab a zerostat and give that a try. I have seen a lot of praise regarding the funk firm and deerskin mats. May give one or both a try and see what I like better as far as sound goes. I am just not looking forward to adjusting the VTA if I add a mat.......just being lazy....I will figure it out


If you know the thickness of the mat, you can easily calculate the number of turns on the vta tower required to achieve the same stylus rake angle prior to introducing the mat. If you are not comfortable with the calc, just post the the mat's thickness and I will calc the adjustment for you.


So I got a 2mm thick mat for now. I assume the arm was set right for no mat. Would it be too much VTF if I left as is? Or do I need to raise the arm?

I figured I will get something thicker and better when I buy a new cart and go through the entire setup
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